It is all about Italy!
Topher does Jazz
The story of Chris
I was alone in this famous Boston restaurant. Just me and 3 employees. There was a time I would have waited 45 minutes for a table but not today, not in the year of Covid... the hostess asked for my phone number for contact tracing and brought me to the table.
I was alone.
I had just been involved in a photo shoot at the Park Plaza.
My waiter Chris brought bread and conversation.
We were alone.
This new reality. No other energy around us. No clanking of plates, humm of neighboring conversations or the noise of cars in traffic outside the windows...just us.
So those who know me well know that I’m inquisitive and rarely shy. Chris was accommodating. I asked about his job? How is he surviving? Has it been like this every day? What is his prediction? Where is this economic drought taking us?
He shared an amazing story... a story that made me hold my heart!...
Stay tuned... the story of Chris.
“Music, once again, saved my life”
Music saved my life resonated like an echo as I watched this man who is my age or close to my age. This man who when I asked “what would you order today?”
Gleefully responded “oh honey, let me set you up....”
He delivered a beautiful chicken dish with broccoli and salad! Perfect!, I thought.
“How did you know?” I asked.
“It’s been my experience that when given the opportunity to let someone else make the decision we are rarely disappointed because the responsibility has been lifted. I just got the sense you were a chicken and broccoli kinda gal and I brought you a Togo box because I already know you won’t finish it!”
“Chris, I said, you are intuitive “
As I dove into my freshly prepared lunch I asked him all the questions...
He is a tall man. Handsome and rugged in appearance. He leaned his body against the opposing booth seat and said
“To be perfectly honest, I had Covid. I have lost so much since March.”
I speared my broccoli with my fork. “How do you mean?”
He looked around the empty restaurant as if he didn’t want to disturb any other guests.
“ I’m a performer. A vocalist. An entertainer.”
I interrupted and said “you! Are! My! People!”...
He smiled, like he’d smile at a groupie.
I said “no, really, I’m the President of this sweet theater company on Cape Cod..”
He cleared his throat.
“So my job ended when gathering stoped because I’m a piano bar singer!”
Oh... this was just the beginning about Chris... how music saved his life....
“So how did music save your life?”
“Well, My roommate and I both got Covid in March. I wasn’t hospitalized but my roommate was. He and I talked on the phone every day. One day he Told me he was being discharged the next day. I set about cleaning the apartment for his homecoming.
I won’t lie. I was looking forward to him being home. I was looking forward to his help with rent and food. It was a tough time.”
I nodded in sympathy.
“I called his room to get the ‘pick up time’ and the house keeper answered.
‘No one here by that name, sir ‘ click-dial tone.
He bowed his head. Then continued.
“Minutes later the hospital called to tell me my roommate had died over night. How could it be? He was 31! We had just spoken on the phone... he was coming home...”. He excused himself from my table and walked toward the bar.
I sat, alone. Hand on my heart.
Thinking of this man, my waiter, sharing this story of his grief.
Chris appeared minutes later with a glass of white wine. He placed it in front of me. “It’s the least I could do having just emotionally vomited all over your ‘big city’ lunch!”
He continued. “ so I’m sick and I’m packing up his life for his family. I had to be sedated. It was surreal.”
We shared respectful silence.
“I have a piano. I know how to play but I prefer singing with an accompanist. But I found myself, in my isolation, playing around with the piano. Truly, this saved my life. What I didn’t realize was how my music defined me and lifted me up. Truly the best therapy during the pandemic. So I made a few recordings and sent them out to friends as Christmas gifts. “
“Wow, I said, I’d love to hear you!” I gushed.
“Oh, he said, Google my name and you can hear some of my stuff” he offered.
Best Private dining afternoon in a long time....
He’d lost his roommate, he’d lost his job and he lost his audience. He’d only been waiting tables for a few months.
Then it happened, I couldn’t help myself. The Irish gift of gab...
“Would you ever consider coming to Cape Cod and performing for the Woods Hole Theater Company?” I pleaded with my waiter...
He smiled, “seriously?” He asked as he cleared my table.
I continued “I’d love to host you at an out door concert this August at the museums on the green in Falmouth for the Woods Hole Theater Company
if you think you could put a show together?”
He smiled a rye smile and looked at me side ways. You know the look. The one that says “your full of shit and this is a pity ask”...
I said...”I’m serious. Out door venue, socially distanced audience, a Thursday evening in July....let’s get you back on stage, huh?”
When I left the restaurant I felt like I’d known him my whole life. I drove home. I couldn’t get him off my mind. Then life intervened...and I left Chris and our encounter in my past.
Until I received this text around midday:
“Hi Annie, Thank you for your generous tip yesterday. It’s people like you that keep me going! Great talking to you! Now we have phone numbers- would love to do a piano/ vocal gig in Falmouth, got some friends there. Now another. Stay safe. Chris”.
So one August 19 at 6 pm my new friend Chris will be making his debut in Falmouth for the Woods Hole Theater Company on the deck at Museums on the green! on the Green! A free concert with donations encouraged. I hope you’ll come to support him! This is an hour long production!
All in All, it was a great private dining experience...
The story of Chris. It’s a shame I’m so introverted... ha ha.
To reserve your spot go to
Bring your lawn chairs and a picnic! This is going to be fun!